Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society

This Week in SEC History

October 11, 1996 - National Securities Market Improvement Act. Today in 1996 the National Securities Market Improvement Act was signed. The measure shifted power from state securities regulators by directing them to conform their securities laws to federal standards and giving the SEC jurisdiction over securities deemed “national” in character.

New Program

A Decade of SEC Enforcement Specialization

Live Webcast
Tuesday, October 12, 2021

On January 13, 2010, the SEC’s Enforcement Division, led by Robert S. Khuzami, announced formation of national specialized units it established in five priority areas: asset management; market abuse; structured and new products; foreign corrupt practices; and municipal securities and public pensions. (A sixth unit, focusing on cybersecurity, was formed in 2017.)

The Commission announced the new units would “help provide the additional structure, resources, and expertise necessary for enforcement staff to keep pace with ever-changing markets and more comprehensively investigate cases involving complex products, markets, regulatory regimes, practices and transactions.”

The new structure, which included a new Office of Market Intelligence, was considered the most significant reorganization since the Enforcement Division’s establishment in 1972.

This program explores the evolution, successes and challenges of the Division’s specialized units over the last decade.


  • LeeAnn G. Gaunt, Chief, Municipal Securities and Public Pensions Unit
  • Joseph G. Sansone, Chief, Market Abuse Unit
  • Kristina Littman, Chief, Cybersecurity Unit
  • Adam S. Aderton, Co-Chief, Asset Management Unit
  • C. Dabney O’Riordon, Co-Chief, Asset Management Unit
  • Osman Nawaz, Acting Chief, Complex Financial Instruments Unit
  • Charles Cain, Chief, Foreign Corrupt Practices Unit
  • G. Jeffrey Boujoukos (moderator), Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, and former Regional Director, SEC Philadelphia Regional Office

This program is made possible with the support of Morgan, Lewis and Bockius, LLP.


September 11 - 20 Years Later: A Lesson in Crisis Leadership

Archived Webcast
Monday, September 20, 2021

September 11, 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the suicide bombings carried out by al Qaeda terrorists. Two of the hijacked planes turned the World Trade Center complex into a mass grave of 2,763 victims, one plane severely damaged the Pentagon military headquarters killing 189, and the fourth plane, United Flight 93 crashed in a Pennsylvania field killing all 44 aboard. The SEC’s 334 employees of the Northeast Regional Office located in 7 World Trade Center were evacuated safely, but their offices and records were destroyed. The US financial markets were seriously disrupted.

Co-hosted by ASECA and the SEC Historical Society, this program featured key figures of the U.S. financial system who led our markets in the hours, days and weeks following the attacks.


  • Harvey L. Pitt, SEC Chairman, 2001–2003
  • Wayne M. Carlin, Regional Director, SEC Northeast Regional Office, 2000–2004
  • Roger W. Ferguson Jr., Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System, 1997–2006
  • Annette L. Nazareth, Director, SEC Division of Market Regulation (now the Division of Trading and Markets), 1999-2005
  • David M. Becker (moderator), SEC General Counsel, 2000–2002
Oral History
Carman George Blough (1895 – 1981)
Carman George Blough (1895 – 1981)

Oral History of Carman G. Blough, SEC’s First Chief Accountant

Carman G. Blough joined the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a staff member in 1934, the year the agency was established. Blough then became the Commission’s first Chief Accountant in December 1935, where he served through May 1938.

Read the Transcript (PDF)

The Society is grateful to Dr. Stephen A. Zeff (Keith Anderson Professor of Accounting at the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice University) for his recent donation of a written transcript of his 1967 interview with Carman G. Blough.

New Gallery
Original PCAB Eight floor Reception Sign, from 2003 – 2019.
Original PCAOB headquarters reception sign, in place from 2003-2019.

Auditing the Auditors: Creating the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) - a unique regulatory entity established by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 to oversee, inspect and enforce standards for auditors of publicly traded companies.

Visit the Gallery

THANK YOU! This gallery was curated by Lucy Harvey and is sponsored by the Center for Audit Quality and its Governing Board member firms: Deloitte & Touche LLP, EY, KPMG LLP, PwC, Grant Thornton LLP, Crowe LLP, BDO USA, and RSM US LLP.

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